(Written by Rupali Manohar)
With the outbreak of coronavirus and over 30 confirmed cases in India, it’s not going to be a very colourful Holi this year.
Various vendors and shop owners selling Holi merchandise say that due to coronavirus, people are avoiding Chinese products which were a public favorite until last year.
Dismissing this concern, Amit Kumar, a shop owner, says, “Whatever Chinese products are being sold, are 4 or 5 months old. Since last two and half months import from China has been banned. But the sales are slightly lower due to weather conditions and school exams.”
Pawan, a vendor, blames lack of excitement amongst people for the low sales. He says, “Be it Chinese colors or Indian colors, there is no enthusiasm amongst people. Chinese products are totally banned. This time market is not same as it used to be during Holi. I don’t know the reason maybe it’s due to virus fear .”
However, Sachin, another vendor, said the sales are no different from previous years . He added, “ The business is normal like every year. However people are demanding Indian products over Chinese ones due to the coronavirus frighten.”
Residents of the city also have different opinions over celebrating the festival of colors.
Akshay Singh, an engineer, feels that people should avoid mass gatherings. He says,” I will celebrate Holi but only with my close friends. I’m avoiding any public gatherings as it will maximize the chances of getting in contact with someone who is already affected with it and it is a like a chain which transfers from one person to another. So, obviously one should avoid such parties or gatherings. Also, celebrating Holi or not is a personal choice but one should make that choice wisely.”
Ravinder Pal, a resident of Panchkula, is not celebrating the festival and requested people to take necessary precautions to fight against the outbreak.
He says, “Off course, I am going to skip the Holi celebrations this time due to coronavirus outbreak. I’ll celebrate it next year but this time around am going to totally avoid it. I request people to celebrate the festival but with necessary precautions. It is a deadly diseases and has even shaken the country like China to the core. “
Sonali, a 21 year student is also planning to skip the Holi celebration. She says,” The coronavirus threat is becoming real for all of us with each passing day and it’s very weird to celebrate the Holi in such a situation. I’ll just do my regular chores as all of my friends, including me has decided to not celebrate the festival.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines